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  1. Does the Culture skill have some play here? Per p156, Culture can be used to procure knowledge about (many things but including...) Rokugan's geography. Maybe it's a good skill to roll if you're making a map of known territory from memory...but not so useful if you're creating a map of a newly explored area? Not sure where to draw the line, frankly. But it does have the advantage (over Survival) of being a Scholar skill, which IMO is the more appropriate skill category for map-making.
  2. The social differences are pretty important too. If this edition is like the previous ones, monks stand somewhat aside from the responsibilities of the samurai caste. They don't necessarily gain honor, status, or glory the same way, aren't expected to take up arms in service to a daimyo, etc... Your typical samurai is a minor but higher-than-average caste person in a very hierarchical organization. Think junior officer. Monks are more like the non-profit aid workers that work along beside the junior officer. The kiho is the fantasy element, but it's not what makes a person a monk. Taking vows and serving a temple rather than a clan is. The Ize Zumi, as always, being the wierd exception to all rules...
  3. Maybe Rogukani school sensei are a bit like college professors; they don't want to be teaching you basic algebra in their calculus class. Learn the rank 1 stuff you need to learn before you get to rank 2, because they aren't going to look happily on your request to teach it after you get there. Still, the Kaito are in a bit of an unusually limiting spot compared to other schools.
  4. Thanks. So you asked how to be a good duelist and cause your opponent to strife-out before you do, there's one answer; spend your experience somewhat evenly on Earth, Water (for composure) and Void rings, so you can (a) stay composed at least as long as your opponent does, and (b) actually hit them effectively when the time comes for finishing blows. It's not a constistenly winning strategy for first strike duels to stay in void stance if that means you have to roll 4k1 vs TN2 for the one strike you get.
  5. Void stance only prevents strife from your own dice rolls, it specifically says you can still gain strife from other sources. I also searched through the rules on both void stance and compromise and couldn't find anything about standing in void and letting the strife counter go up. Could you reference the book so I know what you mean by that? Because it sure looks to me from the description of Void stance that you can gain strife (and suffer a compromise) from things like Predict.
  6. Ah. Well, with this edition's down-playing of unique school techniques, I'm not aware of any kakita-specific abilities that can let your guy set up that strike. But kata and maneuvers that let him roll dice one round and reserve some results for the attack next round would simulate that. Going Air stance for the +1 TN and using Striking as Air, for example. Not sure mechanically it will give the 'bang for the buck' it should, but in theory, this would be a mechanical way of representing 'I avoid his blows while focusing on replying with a single, perfect strike.'
  7. Force your opponent to compromise first, which forces them to start a finishing blow, which allows you to interrupt with your own. That's how you're supposed to win a duel with only one strike. Yes exactly. And this makes utterly no sense from a 'win the fight' perspective, right? Why in the kami's name would anyone just stand there and let the other guy hit them at their leisure? But what separates legal dueling from illegal murder is exactly this: both participants showing that they were willing to honorably follow the rules, even if and when it likely meant their death. And this happened in real life. In real, honest-to-God pistol duels, if you shot first and missed, you were fully expected to stand there and let the other guy take their best shot. To run, or grab another gun, or charge at the guy and engage with fists before he had his chance to shoot was dishonorable. L5R somewhat reflects that sort of culture; death before dishonor. I'll kill myself or let this guy kill me before I'll break the dueling rules handed down by the Emperor. You're a samurai. A servant of the Emperor, your clan, and your family. You're expected to take the hit in order to maintain their honor. You're not just some wandering bandit selfishly thinking only of their own survival (unless, of course, you're playing a selfish bandit who thinks foremost of their own survival...also a perfectly valid way to play :). Now again, not every player wants to play that sort of game. And not every character *in* the game thinks that way either. You can certainly play a more pragmatic bushi or more scoundrel shoot-greedo-first type of character if you want. They fit in the setting. But yes, to answer your question: the other guy *can* pimp himself up for a few rounds and then strike you, and that's exactly how it can work. That's a feature, not a bug. And the plot and story tension doesn't come from wondering if you can duck that blow, it comes from wondering if your opponent will choose to kill you or not given that opportunity.
  8. Yes I accept that it's not enjoyable to you. I have no problem with tables using the 'warrior's duel' concept because they find it more fun. We disagree on whether the former Iai duels should be like that, obviously; I see the setting's background and fluff as playing an important part in how they are conducted, while as you've said in other posts, you're not as interested in the fluff as you are the powergaming type mechanics. It's all good, guy...we're just different. I pinged in here only because your caps use made it seem like you were asserting your personal preference as being a fact about the game world. I don't hold your opinion, and having been involved with L5R since 2nd edition, I also don't personally opine that it's a fact of the game world that Iai duels are intended to be skirmish-like exchanges of blows. They are intended to be very different. Google "l5r challenge focus strike" if you don't believe me. There is loads of both printed and electronic material published by both designers and fans about how dueling is expected to be a single strike affair, different from skirmishing. [edit] Interesting aside, but this disagreement plays out somewhat *in the game world* too, with the Crab and Unicorn clans being more inclined to fight in their own styles (at least when dueling amongst themselves), and the Crane being the most inclined to insist on dueling being it's own special thing. If you don't like the dueling mechanic, one way to get around it is to play a brash crab who sleeps and eats in his armor, or a unicon who considers any "real duel" of honor to require two people galloping at each other on horseback.
  9. It previous editions, kakita and Iai techniques sometimes reflected an ability to do in skirmishes what people studied to be able to do in duels. I'm not sure what the designer's philosophy for the Iai katas was in this edition, but it might be the case that these kata's aren't specifically intended to be used *in* duels so much as allow a character well-versed in dueling to draw and attack in a single action in a skirmish. Thus, "weak to use in an Iai duel" may miss the point. This could be a combat technique you learned *from* dueling practice, not a combat technique you learned *for* dueling. Because you studied Iai, in round 1 of a skirmish you're picking whatever stance you want, drawing, AND attacking, while all those callow barbarians who don't know squat about the finer points of dueling must draw but not strike, or are forced to use Water stance to keep up with your awesomeness. Well, we've disagreed about this before so I won't rehash. Suffice to say that in some tables' Rokugans (but clearly not yours), YES in fact duels by design are NOT intended to be like skirmishes but rather one strike strife management affairs.
  10. Just curious, but at what rank? L5R editions have typically been 'deadly' in the sense of PCs being at risk of dying in combat, but I don't think any of the edition have ever been designed to be 'action hero' or 'super hero' -like in the sense that starting PC's could one-shot well-armed thugs. If he's looking to do that right out of char gen, this might be at expectation management moment. To each table and GM his own. I personally like emphasizing the differentness of the L5R setting over more typical fantasy genres. But if your players want something more 'chainmail,' that's up to them and you and you can certainly decide that in your Rokugan, wearing wargear in court or in a duel carries few or only minor plot consequences.
  11. 1. Yes 2. At rank 2 he can still spend experience to get them, but he only gets 'half credit' towards rank advancement for doing so. You only get full credit towards advancement buying the things listed in your current rank. Not the things listed in a previous rank. So get 'em while they're hot! [Edit] Unlike franwax I didn't look at the FAQ before answering, so I defer to his answer.
  12. Well the obvious explanation is that since both monks and kitsune will be in Emerald Empire (along with Imperial schools), and rules sections don't just appear suddenly, FFG had these sorts of characters mechanically worked out many months ago, in time for the beginner game's publication. Makes you wonder what other schools and fun stuff has already been developed now, in preparation for publication in 2019...
  13. IIRC they were generally portrayed as being very traditional in many ways (with some obvious exceptions). Bushi fulfill the bushi roles, etc. They're a great clan that firmly believes their duty to the Emperor includes disreputable actions, not a thieves' guild. I took the school choices to be a publishing decision, not a setting decision. I.e. they decided on one school per family for the core book, with the intent to publish additional schools (both to known families and new ones) in supplements. Of course, that brings up the entirely different debate of how 'complete' an RPG should be in it's core book. I think it's a legitimate gripe against the core book choices to complain if you don't think the Scorpion clan can be played effectively without a supplement. [Late edit] Overall I'd say I would've preferred the publishing strategy of 'every clan gets a bushi, courtier, shugenja, and other'
  14. If you're asking "do you have a problem with my house rule," my answer is no, not really. If it works for your table, great! But your initial question, the one that started the thread was "Will this summon a yari within the target they hit?" You seemed to be asking a question about the rules as written. And my answer to that question is: no, summoning a yari of air at the point of contact will not function as a second attack according to the rules as I'd interpret them. It's a support action. Attaching the invocation to an arrow allows the kaito to perform the same support action at the arrow's impact point that they'd do in their own hands, nothing more. And just as a shug can't attack in the same round they invoke a weapon* by describing the action "I put my hand near him and the blade extends out from my hand into his belly," neither can the kaito do something like that. (*On that...being able to draw and strike in the same action seems to be a pretty big mechanical advantage in this edition. I'd hesitate to add it to techniques that don't actually have it.) Without playing through the rule, I don't know. I guess you'll find out.
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